Cuimhneamh an Chláir
Clare Cuimhneamh an Chláir - The Clare Oral History and Folklore Group

Undertake Life Interviews with elderly people throughout County Clare as well as conducting Day Care centre and group reminiscence.

Cuimhneamh an Chláir (Memories of Clare) was formed by a group of volunteers in February 2009. We are an independent and voluntary group that digitally record, archive and share the memories, folklore, traditions and oral history of county Clare, through interviews with the county’s oldest citizens.   We have trained and mobilised 50 volunteers referred to as Cuairteoirí, from across County Clare to help in this process.   We are proud to have now conducted hundreds of interviews all accross our county with the wonderful older people of Clare.

Cuimhneamh an Chláir is an independent, not-for-profit, community based charity (CHY20976). We are motivated by a sense of urgency, mindful that our current elderly population may represent the last link to an older way of life in Clare. We intend to provide a platform for the dissemination of the material we collect through co-operation with community groups, schools, third level institutions, and the broader public.

Since the establishment of Cuimhneamh an Chláir hundreds of Clare’s elders have been digitally recorded by our entirely voluntary group amounting to 550 interviews. With each recording, the value of our work is reinforced by the realisation that once lost, no means on earth can bring these unique memories back. An early policy, passed by the founding members of Cuimhneamh an Chláir was to provide each family of an interviewee, with a free copy of the recording. In the case of families who have since lost their loved ones, the opportunity to hand back a disk containing the voice and memories of their grandfather or grandmother, husband, uncle or grandaunt, has been an incredibly rewarding and gratifying act.

Our collectors have been able to elicit and record a vast range of oral heritage and tradition. Cuairteoirí have drawn recollections from Clare elders on such subjects as the fair days, turf cutting Lord Haw Haw, animal cures, evictions, house dances, calendar customs and marriage traditions. In addition, numerous other facets of social and cultural life in Clare have been recorded for posterity.